One Thing I Like About Jane Austen: She Knows Me So Well!

When Jane Austen introduced John Knightley, brother in law of the heroine and younger brother of the hero, she might as well have been drawing a word portrait of me.

Mr. John Knightley was a … gentleman-like, and very clever man; rising in his profession, domestic, and respectable in his private character; but with reserved manners which prevented his being generally pleasing; and capable of being sometimes out of humour. He was not an ill-tempered man, not so often unreasonably cross as to deserve such a reproach; but his temper was not his great perfection; and, … had all the clearness and quickness of mind … and he could sometimes act an ungracious, or say a severe thing. (Emma, ch. 11.)

What profession was he rising in, you might ask? He was a lawyer, and I like to think that after the novel’s events he went on to become a judge. That way our parallel lives can continue. I’m not asking too much, am I?


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14 Responses to One Thing I Like About Jane Austen: She Knows Me So Well!

  1. Nice! Any day that anyone brings Jane Austen into the forefront is a good one. Oh, and your post reminds me that I have yet to read “Emma.” For shame! I’ve got some reading to do! Happy weekend, Tim!

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Angie. I’m huge on Jane Austen, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve read through the cycle of all six novels. Plus I’ve read most of her juvenilia and those are a hoot! I think you should cancel all commitments, drop all other reading, pick up Emma and don’t come up for air until finished!

  2. Yes, you’re asking too much!!! Because that’s not the direction I’m taking him in my novel. And I see that you edit out that Jane Austen described Mr. John Knightley as “a tall gentleman-like … man” Sorry, Tim, he’s his own man and currently a character in my Emma sequel. My novel my rules:

    • Tim says:

      I grant you your powers of creation rule, Ellen! If Jane were to have written a sequel, though, I am sure he’d be in silk by now. After all, his older brother was already a local magistrate.

  3. stephanielynn75 says:

    Confession: I haven’t read a single Jane Austen novel. However, between you and Ellen, I am curious, and I think it’s about time I read one.

    • Tim says:

      Excellent, Stephanie. I’d start with Pride and Prejudice if for no other reason than being able to then discuss JA with everyone else since it’s the most read of her novels. My favorites, though, are Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

  4. Tim, She knows us all so well — that’s why we love her. She’s got me pegged in any number of characters. As for the men, John Knightley is a good choice. She left you room for a little latitude. Good luck. George is still my favorite… K. Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Katherine. If I could choose a character to be, it’d be Henry Tilney. That guy’s The Man!

      • I think I’m married with the American embodiment of Edward Ferrars, except that my husband has more handsome looks than Jane Austen credits to Edward. Yes, I married very well! Don’t know that I’m Elinor, though. I’d have to re-read Sense and Sensibility to make that determination.

    • Adriana says:

      “She knows us all so well — that’s why we love her.” — My sentiments exactly, Katherine.

  5. Jeannie says:

    John Knightley is a great character. The ideal brother-in-law. But he would only accept a promotion as judge if it didn’t keep him out too many nights of the week … so it sounds like a good fit!

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